Monday, March 22, 2010

The Tanner Gun Show Back in the News

The Denverpost.com reports on an "accidental" shooting which took place in one of the most famous gun shows in the world.

Adams County sheriff's deputies responded to the Tanner Gun Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart at Interstate 25 and East 58th Avenue about 2 p.m. after a man was shot in the upper torso.

Investigators interviewed "numerous witnesses," the gun's vendor and the "person holding the gun at the time of the discharge," Sgt. Candi Baker with the Adams County Sheriff's Office said.

"They were just looking at a gun," Baker said.

Russ Huntley, who was at the gun show Saturday, told 9News he had heard someone had been shot in the shoulder and "there was blood all over the floor."

The Tanner Gun Show bills itself as the state's largest gun show, with 700 tables displaying guns, knives, ammunition, reloading equipment, military surplus, and hunting and fishing gear. The show, which drew complaints in 1999 when three guns bought there were used by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris in the Columbine High School shooting, has run in some form since 1964.

Zorro keeps asking me why I feel reporting these incidents as "accidents" favors the pro-gun side. Well, when we say "the gun accidentally went off," or the guy was "just looking at it when it went off," or "he was holding it at the time of the discharge," I say you're using words which minimize the responsibility of the shooter.

I especially object to this because the same gun rights activists who use wording like this are the first to accuse gun control folks of fearing inanimate objects and giving too much power to "just another tool."

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "the man who was looking at the weapon, obviously had his finger on the trigger and negligently fired the gun?" Or, how about, "although the stupidity of the gun seller in handing a loaded gun to the customer is unbelievable, the customer who shot himself failed to treat the gun as loaded - Rule number 1."

Of course we'll hear the old infrequency rationale. That's why these things make the news, after all.

It's not the first time there's been a shooting at or around the show.

In March 2008, a 64-year-old Littleton man accidentally shot himself in the stomach with .38-caliber handgun in the mart's parking lot.

The show's website says it is illegal to have loaded guns inside the show. Security personnel disable most guns, looping zip ties through gun chambers.


There's that word again, "accidentally." "Stupidly and negligently" would be more accurate, don't you think? This means that two incidents are known to the writer, but do you think there might have been others? Do you think there might have been any number of them which resulted in minor injuries or no injuries at all? I would say yes, indeed. Do you think this is just part of the deal? Is this the price we have to pay for freedom?

What about those security guard who "disable most guns?" Do you believe that nonsense? The show's website says so, but in reality do you think the self-respecting gun owners would allow such a thing? I really can't picture it.

And finally, lest we forget why this gun show is one of the most famous in the world, this is where the Columbine shooters got their weapons. Shame on the people who run this thing. Shame on the private sellers who profit from the sick business of selling guns to people who shouldn't have them. And most of all shame on all of you who support that pernicious laxity in the gun laws of America. Shame on you.

9 comments:

  1. "I say you're using words which minimize the responsibility of the shooter."

    Historically, that's more of anti-gunners tactic. When some gang banger gets perforated on a Chicago street, the reaction is always, "We have to do something about the guns!", never "We have to do something about the gangs."

    "Is this the price we have to pay for freedom?"

    Yes. No one said freedom was safe. Freedom is dangerous.

    "What about those security guard who "disable most guns?" Do you believe that nonsense? The show's website says so, but in reality do you think the self-respecting gun owners would allow such a thing? I really can't picture it."

    Then you've obviously never been to a gun show. Guns are checked and zip tied. More than likely, this incident was the result of someone showing off their conceal carry gun, which obviously isn't checked or zip tied at the door.

    "And finally, lest we forget why this gun show is one of the most famous in the world, this is where the Columbine shooters got their weapons. Shame on the people who run this thing. Shame on the private sellers who profit from the sick business of selling guns to people who shouldn't have them. And most of all shame on all of you who support that pernicious laxity in the gun laws of America. Shame on you."

    Yes. Shame on all us freedom loving patriots.

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  2. What, no shame for the murderers?

    -TS

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  3. Yes, most guns are zip tied at the door at gun shows and yes, most gun owners do not object.

    But then Jade Gold would know that from all of the shows he attends. He would have to pass the inspection point at the entrance on his way to all of the Truther and White Supremacist booths that he frequents.

    The Columbine idiots did not go to this gun show. They had a straw purchaser legally obtain them at the show (how do you think they traced them so fast) and illegally transfer the guns to them.

    You are familiar with straw purchasers since you like to post videos that glamorize the crime.

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  4. And finally, lest we forget why this gun show is one of the most famous in the world, this is where the Columbine shooters got their weapons.

    Not quite correct. If I recall correctly the Columbine shooters did not purchase the guns. They had a straw purchaser do that for them. This is already illegal and no amount of background checks at gun shows is going to stop it.

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  5. Well, since the others have already beat you up on the "shame" thing, I'll let it pass. That horse is dead, I don't need to beat it no further!

    "Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "the man who was looking at the weapon, obviously had his finger on the trigger and negligently fired the gun?" "

    It might be. Do you know for a fact that is what happened, or are you assuming that is what happened?

    See, the newsies may be biased, or they may not be. But one thing they are, is careful not to say something that can be considered libel or slander, and use words like "alleged" or "suspected" even though thirty people saw it.

    So, while it might be more accurate once the facts are revealed, it wouldn't be accurate to characterize it that way, yet.

    See, the minimalizing of responsibility works both ways. When a gangbanger shoots a rival gang member, the newsies blame the gun. When a gun show attendee shoots himself, they blame the gun. You see that as bias or lack thereof, I see it as ignorance.

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  6. Shrimp: “See, the newsies may be biased, or they may not be. But one thing they are, is careful not to say something that can be considered libel or slander, and use words like "alleged" or "suspected" even though thirty people saw it.”

    Outstanding point, Shrimp. They can’t exactly use words like “negligence” or speculate which of the four rules where broken when they are just supposed to report on the facts. The rest is up to the investigators.

    -TS

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  7. TS, Thanks for pointing out that the news outlets need to be careful about law suits, I hadn't thought of that. I do pretty much agree with the idea that much of this is out of ignorance or just sloppy reporting rather than any real attempt to spin.

    The point remains though, that the media is not all slanted against the gun owners like we so often hear.

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  8. Mikeb: The point remains though, that the media is not all slanted against the gun owners like we so often hear.

    Mikeb is right. Some of the stuff that appears "slanted against the gun owners" is often just ignorance. And years ago it was much worse than today, as traditional media now cannot make bogus claims without being exposed by the Internet and FOX News ("90% of Mexican guns...").

    That said, there still is some reporting that really is "slanted against the gun owners" and when we see that we will still point it out (but try to refrain from saying that it's always that way).

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